Hackers are always on the lookout to get into somewhere they shouldn’t. Given that the restaurant industry now relies heavily on technology, it’s no surprise that they are attempting to steal data from restaurant via the technology used there
Hackers can, and will, use just about any piece of information they can get their hands on to ruin a business. A simple email address can allow hackers to gain access to accounts which then leads them to other sensitive and private information.
Restaurants not only have their own data to protect but also their diners. Customers’ credit card details in the wrong hands can be dangerous. Not only can hackers damage your business, they can leave your customers in financial ruin. If it is traced back to your restaurant being the point of data breach you can expect some angry diners on your doorstep.
The moment you become a victim of data breach it can prove extremely costly. Restoring computers and upgrading security can be anything up to 256,000USD. However, a ruined reputation could cost you even more. When word gets out your restaurant had a security breach, customers will no longer feel safe using their credit card or giving their email address. This is where they begin to go elsewhere to eat. Second to this will be the spreading of the news to their friends. They too will think twice about eating at your restaurant.
Hackers do not discriminate any business when it comes to hacking. Below are some tips to help you secure your data so your restaurant doesn’t become another victim.
Start off with doing an audit of what you have. Check that all passwords used are secure. If not then create new ones. A secure password would be a combination of letters (upper and lower case), numbers and special characters. It is also a best practice to regularly update the password. It could seem like a hassle but in the long run, the hassle is worth it.
Members of your restaurant team who use or have access to the restaurant email need to be aware of the dangers of emails which could contain a virus or an attempt to phish (get) information fraudulently. Educate them so they are vigilant. Notice if an email address looks real but is off by a few letters (or spelt incorrectly) and/or emails containing links or attachments which weren’t expected. Inform them that these must never be clicked. If it is a hacking attempt it allows the hacker to gain access to your system and your private information.
Your restaurant website will also need a thorough inspection. Especially if it’s used to take online orders. Check that you have a functioning firewall and installed security apps. Along with these, you need to make sure you do regular back ups. This also helps if there is a breakdown in hardware. Speaking of which, your website server also needs routine checks. If a 3rd party company does this for you then find out when and how regularly they perform these.
If you restaurant uses mobile devices to take orders these need to be locked when not in use. They must always kept on site at the restaurant at all times. Tablets need to be either cleared or backed up daily.
The free wi-fi you offer must be encrypted or secure. Hackers can use as a way to get into your network to steal yours and your customers’ info. Inform your diners which is actually your secure network for them use. Hackers, with ease, can create hotspots with a name similar to that of your restaurant’s network. Customers could accidentally click on that and unknowingly handover all their information.
Security checks don’t just stop at the technology you use. Do background checks on your staff too. Focus on searches for fraud or money-related offenses. Preferably during the interviewing stage as once they are on your team it could be too late. It is all too easy to take a photo of a credit card belonging to a customer to then use to make purchases elsewhere.
Being a restaurant owner isn’t just about providing food to people. It also entails looking after those who come to you to eat. Making sure you have taken all necessary measures to protect your data will give you and your customers peace of mind.
Branding specialist and crisp hoarder